Diablo Dish: Walnut Creek Considers Amy’s Drive Thru
Flora combines books and food in Oakland; Lottie’s Creamery comes to Danville; where to treat Mom to Mother’s Day brunch in the East Bay; and more Dish.
Organic Fast Food Versus Resident Protests
There’s the unexpected, and then the expected.
The unexpected, in this case, is a drive-through, fast-food restaurant that focuses on organic ingredients, local sourcing, and eco-friendly containers.
The expected is neighborhood opposition.
Amy’s Drive Thru, which specializes vegetarian options at its Rohnert Park location, hopes to open a new eatery on North Main and Second Avenue in Walnut Creek, but Larkey Park Neighbors United—which successfully blocked an In-N-Out Burger at the same spot two years ago—is against the project.
The group emphasizes that it is specifically opposed to a drive-through at the location, as it will encourage more traffic on an already busy street and generate greater auto emissions while cars wait in line.
On the other hand, Amy’s points to its nontraditional fast-food operation, which includes a living roof and aims to receive LEED certification.
One thing we can pretty much count on? Lots of meetings, discussions and negotiations before the first gluten-free veggie burger is served—if, in fact, it ever is.
Who Wants to Cook on Mother’s Day?
The answer: no one. So eating out is always a good celebratory decision. Here are some options for this Sunday:
Barone’s: From 1:30 to 8 p.m., the Pleasanton mainstay will offer a special Mother’s Day menu.
District Oakland: In Old Oakland, look for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet plus bottomless mimosas for $36 ($22 for the buffet only). Children 10 and under will be able to feast for $10.
Eve’s Waterfront: A Mother’s Day extended brunch buffet—from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.—plus a great view are on offer in Oakland for $50 ($24 for children under 12).
The Hilton Concord: Treat the mom in your life to a lavish brunch in the Hilton Concord’s Golden Gate Ballroom, and make sure to take a commemorative photo in the family photo booth to mark the occasion. There are seatings at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., all for $65. (Children 12 and under will be seated for $30, and seniors over 62 for $55.)
Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill: Mother’s Day specials will be available at the Lake Merritt restaurant from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a special brunch menu offered until 3 p.m.
Playt: For a taste of the South, head to Hayward’s Playt for a la carte specials that will cover all the Southern bases. Brunch will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner service begins at 5 p.m.
Sabio on Main: Pleasanton’s Sabio on Main will be serving a three-course prix fixe brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a three-course prix fixe dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. The cost is $48 for adults and $29 for children under 10.
Smitten: Even moms scream for ice cream. This Sunday, it will be very easy for any child to make Mom happy, as Smitten in Rockridge will let kids buy a small scoop for however much money they happen to have—no amount is too small. So, no piggy banks will be harmed by a trip to small-batch ice creamery.
The Terrace Room: The $69 brunch buffet will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. at this lakefront Oakland eatery. Children under 12 are $35, and children under 5 are free.
Walnut Creek Yacht Club: Usually, Sundays are a day of rest for the Walnut Creek Yacht Club staff, but Mother’s Day is an exception. The regular menu, plus a $35 three-course prix fixe, will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
San Francisco Spots Earn Prestigious Awards
The James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food industry, were handed out last night, and Bar Agricole (Outstanding Bar Program) and Benu (Outstanding Wine Program) in San Francisco took the top spots in their categories. El Pipila won a design award as well, but it’s hard to eat the draperies (and really not encouraged).
Lottie’s Creamery Moves into Danville
The Lottie’s Creamery—which can also be found in Walnut Creek and Palo Alto—has opened a third outpost in Danville. And what better time to open an ice cream shop than right before the weather heats up?
Expanded Brunch Offerings in Oakland
Mockingbird, just off Broadway on 13th Street, will add Saturday brunch service (from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), mixing popular items from its regular menu with new brunch specials. Keep an eye out for some Sunday brunches for special events.
In the Grand Lake district, Boot and Shoe Service will dive in, with brunch both Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Like Mockingbird, it will offer both special brunch items and dishes from its regular menu.
Oakland’s Flora Ups the Ante on Book Clubs
Wednesday, May 15, Uptown’s Flora will launch a new book club series combining community, conversation, cocktails, and good food. The first installment will examine The Portable Dorothy Parker, with plenty of opportunities to savor some of Parker’s more memorable lines. (One of my favorites: “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”)
The $55 prix fixe includes a cocktail at Fauna next-door and four-course meal, with wine or highball offerings for an extra $25.
The monthly series will continue in June with Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold and Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley in July.
AlaMar to Celebrate Fifth Birthday in Style
Uptown Oakland’s AlaMar has been there since the beginning of the area’s restaurant revival, and the Grand Avenue spot (a couple blocks north of Lake Merritt) deserves to throw itself a party. Saturday starts with a seven-course prix fixe tasting menu (for $85) from 6 to 9 p.m., then rolls on with an after-party from 9 p.m. to midnight, featuring live music and $5 bar bites and drink specials.